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review 2017-06-21 08:46
Even the title is layered
A Room with a View - E.M. Forster

I feel like I read a book twice as long as this was, not because it was heavy or difficult, but because it was so tightly woven. There were layers of meaning, and so much that could be inferred, and for such short pages, many characters get well fleshed out. No line is wasted. There is this... English brevity, I guess, that makes me recall the meandering tone of "Passage to India". Says something about what must characterize each people in Forster's mind, huh?

It is also a quiet way to depict a fast and turbulent romance, which feels weird in a "still waters run deep" kind of way. There is this three-way war going, between mind, heart and manners (or is it pride?, self-image? calcified indecision?), it is evident when you get to the lying chapters, and the weather tends to illustrate it, but before then, before Lucy looses her temper at Miss Bartlet at the beginning of them out of revelatory fright, it's all so sedate. On the outside; Lucy's facing the exterior gets a companion chapter on "The disaster within". She's running from love: it is scary, exiting, something unknown, and unrecognized, and social mores don't help her in disentangling from the muddle.

On the side, we get some awesome darts thrown into time old hypocrisy, such as how emancipated women are perceived or "accepted"; how men think women think about men; people abroad; obligation as it pertains to favors out of honesty (Emerson) or self-serving humbleness (Charlotte); and bunch of stuff I either posted already, or have marked down and can't speedily condense here. In case the main course wasn't enough.

Seriously, this guy had a way with words.

 

Note: I have to get another copy. Mine was abysmally translated. I turned to a digital version in original English after 20 pages or so. If you read in Spanish, avoid translator Marta Pessarrodona. She's a menace and a beast. Word confusions (she translated kitten instead of kite, for example), wrong conjugations (translated "would have" as present simple), change of punctuation, which changes pace drastically and unnecessarily (specifically, Cecil's entrance is most egregious), change of meaning of whole paragraphs (to the point of reading as the opposite). And it ts only what I caught just searching for the paragraphs I wanted to mark down as memorable while reading the digital copy! Much of this I could not understand of someone supposedly getting paid. It would have been more difficult to invent as she did.

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text 2017-06-21 00:44
Reading progress update: I've read 157 out of 240 pages.
A Room with a View - E.M. Forster

“I have upset everything. Bursting in on young people! But I insist on paying for my cab up. Grant me that, at any rate.”

 

Please do. People ought to always grant these martyrs their sacrifices and pay them no mind. It makes them so happy in their martyrdom. The only way to deal with them is ignore them and leave them to suffer. Otherwise they take over your life, and then you are left wondering how come YOU are the one making the sacrifices...

 

Yeah, in case it wasn't obvious Miss Bartlett drives me up the wall. I've had people like her in my life. They mess you up well and good, wanting to strangle them, and feeling guilty for wanting to.

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text 2017-06-20 05:41
Reading progress update: I've read 100 out of 240 pages.
A Room with a View - E.M. Forster

I'm skipping several things I underlined because I did not know how to trim them enough not no make a kilometric post (though the whole Pan and Phaeton thing was lots of fun). Now onto part II:

 

Cecil entered.
Appearing thus late in the story, Cecil must be at once described. He was mediaeval.

 

Lol, that's some dramatic stepping in. If there was any doubt, Forster dedicates a whole, separate paragraph just for the action. Funny man.

 

Also, nice echo to the medieval woman bit. No need to really explain what he's looking for in a wife.

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text 2017-06-20 00:40
Reading progress update: I've read 53 out of 240 pages.
A Room with a View - E.M. Forster

Another chapter, another quote. Chapter 5 opens with this dozy

 

This solitude oppressed her; she was accustomed to have her thoughts confirmed by others or, at all events, contradicted; it was too dreadful not to know whether she was thinking right or wrong.

 

Beyond the criticism toward women being brought up to be unable to rely on their own judgment, the extra twist that she feels isolated because she's trying to conceal something she thinks is shameful, and no one realizes. This has so many layers of taught dependence.

 

...

 

After some sideways sticking it to the way foreigners judge from a high and mighty stance, are at best downright condescending and at general make idiots of themselves (a thing he goes over in length on Passage to India), this bit about a female writer, by Miss Bartlett:

 

“She is emancipated, but only in the very best sense of the word,” continued Miss Bartlett slowly. “None but the superficial would be shocked at her. We had a long talk yesterday. She believes in justice and truth and human interest. She told me also that she has a high opinion of the destiny of woman—"

 

*cringe* I can't even begin to enumerate the amount of points to address on that one line.

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text 2017-06-19 03:26
Reading progress update: I've read 48 out of 240 pages.
A Room with a View - E.M. Forster

Conversation was tedious; she wanted something big, and she believed that it would have come to her on the wind-swept platform of an electric tram.
This she might not attempt. It was unladylike. Why? Why were most big things unladylike? Charlotte had once explained to her why. It was not that ladies were inferior to men; it was that they were different. Their mission was to inspire others to achievement rather than to achieve themselves. Indirectly, by means of tact and a spotless name, a lady could accomplish much. But if she rushed into the fray herself she would be first censured, then despised, and finally ignored. Poems had been written to illustrate this point.

 

Oh, wow. You can hear the irony on his tone just from the pages.

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